Thursday , Aug , 30 , 2007 Oly Sandor

FIBA: Coach Mike Kryzyzewski & Kobe Bryant Form Solid Team USA Partnership

Right now, Zen Master sits on the other side of the fence and is extremely tight with his most talented student. Jackson has company on the love side. Bryant’s Team USA coach, Mike Krzyzewski, enjoys working with the the world’s most talented basketball player. Duke’s legendary sideline boss recently talked to the L.A. Times about his relationship with Bryant …


Everybody has an opinion on . The all-world guard polarizes people like the New York Yankees, Manchester United football club, Facebook, and ‘W’ all rolled in one. There’s no middle ground. You either hate or love Bryant.

The Bryant-polarizing phenomenon extends to his coaches. His long-time Laker coach, Phil Jackson, has flip-flopped on Bryant. Many years ago, Zen Master had some hate for Bryant even demanding the purple-and-gold trade him because he apparently couldn’t be coached. Jackson described Bryant’s madness in his book The Last Season: A Team in Search if its Soul.

Right now, Zen Master sits on the other side of the fence and is extremely tight with his most talented student. Jackson has company on the love side. Bryant’s Team USA coach, Mike Krzyzewski, enjoys working with the the world’s most talented basketball player. Duke’s legendary sideline boss recently talked to the L.A. Times about his relationship with Bryant.

On Bryant’s end of season meltdown:

"I would always want guys who would want to win. The fact that he’s frustrated because they are not winning at the level he would like, I think that’s a good problem. I’m sure the Lakers will work things out. The thing about Kobe is that every thing he does is so public. It’s the scrutiny placed on an individual who has won three world championships and is considered the best player in the world. That goes with the territory."

On giving Bryant advice:

"It’s not so much you give advice because to give advice, you have to have knowledge of the situation. What you want to do is give support, say, ‘I’m behind you. Stay steadfast in what you want to do.’ "

On possibly coaching Bryant full-time with the Lakers:

"It was a serious consideration, but I’m the kind of a person, once I make a decision, I don’t look back. I’ve been married 38 years and I don’t write to my old girlfriends. It was an honor and I thank them for giving me that opportunity. I’m 60 years old. I’m going to do what I do at Duke and I am not going to coach in the pros. Besides coaching college basketball, I love Duke. I just love the university. It was too much to give up."

On Bryant’s interest in Duke:

"I don’t think he was that close to going to college. I think it was always on his mind to go to the pros. We kind of knew, if he did go to college, he would come to Duke, but we never really counted on it because he was so good and we knew that he would be a very, very high pick."

On coaching Bryant:

"We’ve developed an even closer relationship now. I really like Kobe a lot. He’s easy to coach. He buys into everything. He’s doing all the unselfish things, playing hard defensively, not really caring about who scores. It’s all about winning."

On Bryant’s pro future:

"He’ll do whatever he thinks he needs to do to bring about a championship. He’s proven it and he wants to prove it again. There are lot of people who prove it once and never want to do it again. He’s uncommon. He wants to prove it over and over again. There is nothing bad about Kobe Bryant."

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